Canvas Costa Mesa
Signage as Sculpture
RIOS, in collaboration with Wolcott and CB Creative, reimagined a traditional office park as a blank canvas for artists. Located in Costa Mesa, the project focuses on the development of outdoor amenities and identification of lobby spaces. RIOS created directional signage that is one-part gallery platform and one-part sculpture.
Each pedestrian wayfinding element is treated as an individual piece within the beautifully curated landscapes. The design of the freestanding directional sculptures, formed by a folded plane, becomes a simple arrow in profile that terminates on a knife’s edge.
The campus is not about signs – it’s about art. The wayfinding needs to be art, or else hide in plain sight. This solution does both.
By creating these sculptures from single sheets as opposed to fabricated cabinets, our design achieves an illusion. When viewing from a certain angle, the signs almost disappear, but from another point of view they remain entirely in-sight to offer insightful information.
Upon arrival, visitors are greeted with a map encouraging them to explore the unique artwork installed around the campus. In this way, even the parking garage becomes the entry to a campus-wide gallery exhibit.
RIOS worked closely with Art Consultant CB Creative to highlight the murals by local artists around the site. As the only signs permitted to go beyond white and black, they connect and reference each mural piece through color. In addition to clearly marked buildings and generous wayfinding, the art provides an important way of creating landmarks across the campus.
Partners: EQ Office
Landscape Architecture: Ground Level
Art: CB Creative
Logo: Scout There